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SoC-FPGA Solution based on Multicore RISC-V architecture

Jan 13, 2023 — by Giorgio Mendoza 580 views

Aries Embedded launched this week two embedded platforms based on Microchip’s PolarFire FPGA architecture. According to the company, “the M100PFS SoM integrates a hardened real-time, Linux capable, RISC-V-based MPU subsystem on the mid-range PolarFire SoCFPGA family.”

The standard M100FPS SoM integrates the MPFS025T FPGA, although it can be configured with the other two variants with more Logic Elements. 

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  • Microsemi PolarFire SoC FPGA:
    • MPFS025T – 23KLE, 68 math blocks, 4x SERDES 12.5Gbit/s, 2x PCIe root port/end point
    • MPFS095T – 93KLE, 292 math blocks, 4x SERDES 12.5Gbit/s, 2x PCIe root port/end point
    • MPFS160T – 161KLE, 498 math blocks, 8x SERDES 12.5Gbit/s, 2x PCIe root port/end point
    • MPFS250T – 254KLE, 784 math blocks, 16x SERDES 12.5Gbit/s, 2x PCIe root port/end point
    • Quad 64-bit RV64GC cores (up to 667 MHz)
    • 64-bit RV64IMAC monitor core (up to 667 MHz)


M100FPSblock diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The company expects that the M100FPS will target multiple applications such as Computer Vision, Industrial Automation, IoT and even Embedded Security since it supports a Cryptography Research Incorporated (CRI)-patented differential power analysis (DPA) bitstream protection, Integrated dual physically unclonable function (PUF) and built-in tamper detectors and countermeasures. 

  
M100FPS System-on-Module
(click images to enlarge)

Specifications for the M100FPS platform:

  • Processor I/Os:
    • Connectivity:
      • 2x Gigabit Ethernet
    • USB:
      • 1x USB 2.0 OTG
    • I/O Interfaces:
      • 1x MMC 5.1 SD/SDIO
      • 2x CAN 2.0 A & B
      • 5x multi-mode UARTs
      • XIP with QSPI
      • 2x SPI, 2x I2C
    • Other Features:
      • RTC, Timers
      • 5x WTD
  • Processor to FPGA:
    • 2x 64-bit AXI4 processor-to-fabric interfaces
    • 3x 64-bit AXI4 fabric-to-processor interfaces
    • 1x 32-bit APB processor-to-fabric interface
  • Memory/Storage:
    • Up to 8 GB DDR4 RAM (HMS)
    • Up to 4GB DDR4 RAM (FPGA)
    • Up to 1GBit NOR Flash
    • Up to 64 GB eMMC memory
  • I/O Interfaces:
    • 2x Samtec (QSH-090-01-F-D-A) B2B interconnect
  • Security:
    • CRI DPA bitstream protection
    • PUF
    • 56 KB of secure, non-volatile memory (sNVM)
    • Digest integrity check for FPGA, μPROM, sNVM, and eNVM
  • Power:
    • 3.3V
  • Dimensions:
    • 74 x 42mm

   
M100PF block diagram (left) and SoM (right)
(click images to enlarge)

On the other hand, the M100PF SoM offers from 100K Logic Elements to 300K LEs and 12.7G transceivers. Aries-Embedded specifies that this SoM “offers up to 50% lower power than competing mid-range FPGAs.”

Some specifications for the M100PF platform:

  • PolarFire FPGA
    • MPF100T – 109KLE, 336 Math Blocks (18x18MACC)
    • MPF200T – 192KLE, 588 Math Blocks (18x18MACC)
    • MPF300T – 300KLE, 924 Math Blocks (18x18MACC)
  • Memory/Storage:
    • Up to 2GB DDR3 RAM
    • Up to 128 MB configuration device
    • Up to 4GB eMMC memory
    • I/Os:
      • 8x SERDES Lanes (up to 12.5Gbps)
      • 2x PCIe Gen2 End Points/Root Ports
  • I/O Interfaces:
    • 2x Samtec (QSH-090-01-F-D-A) B2B interconnect
  • Other Features:
    • Clock distribution
  • Power:
    • 3,3V supply
  • Dimension:
    •  74 x 42mm

The M100PF SoM is available in commercial temperature ranges (0°C to 75°C) and industrial temperature ranges (-40°C to +85°C). The schematics for this platform are available at customers’ request. The company’s GitHub repository can be found here.

It also seems that the software for these two platforms is also supported by Embalo Technologies. The press release mentions, “Our cooperation with ARIES Embedded perfectly fits with our focus on delivering excellent solutions in embedded systems, machine learning, AI, information security, and IoT applications. We’re proud to provide intelligent software for ARIES Embedded high-performance system-on-modules with PolarFire inside.” 

Further information

The company didn’t provide information about pricing. The product page for both boards can be found here. Aries Embedded also confirmed the availability of the M100PF SoM and its derivatives until at least 2032. 

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